DOB: Bulletin 2450 - Feb. 4, 2011

The Department of Banking News Bulletin 

Bulletin # 2450
Week Ending February 4, 2011

This bulletin constitutes the only official notification you will receive from this office concerning any of the following applications. Any observations you may have are solicited. Any comments should be in writing to Howard F. Pitkin, Banking Commissioner, at the Connecticut Department of Banking, 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103-1800 or via E-mail. Written comments will be considered only if they are received within ten days from the date of this bulletin.


 
STATE BANK ACTIVITY
Conversion
 
On February 1, 2011, First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. filed an application to convert from a mutual holding company to a capital stock holding company pursuant to Sections 36a-197 and 36a-136 of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Also, in connection with the transaction, on February 1, 2011, pursuant to Section 36a-198 of the Connecticut General Statutes, First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc. filed an application for the establishment of a subsidiary holding company to be known as Farmington Holdings, Inc. and pursuant to Section 36a-184 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Farmington Holdings, Inc. and First Connecticut Bancorp, Inc., a newly-formed Maryland stock corporation, filed an acquisition statement to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding common stock of Farmington Bank.
 
New Bank Application Amended
 
The application to organize Sachem Bank, Madison, Connecticut, pursuant to Section 36a-70 of the Connecticut General Statutes, has been amended to add Bryant Cooper Boyd and Kevin P. Murphy as organizers of Sachem Bank (In Organization).  Additional organizers were previously identified in Bulletin #2356, dated April 21, 2009, Bulletin #2358, dated May 5, 2009, Bulletin #2391, dated December 22, 2009, Bulletin #2397, dated February 2, 2010, Bulletin #2403, dated March 16, 2010 and Bulletin #2427, dated August 31, 2010.
 
CONSUMER CREDIT DIVISION ACTIVITY
Check Cashing Service License Activity
 
Date Check Casher Location Activity
02/01/11
Ace's Smoke and Cell Shop LLC
260 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT  06112
filed
02/03/11 Brass City Check Cashing LLC
1274 Thomaston Avenue
Waterbury, CT  06704
approved
 

Settlement Agreements
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with Mortgage Express LLC d/b/a The Loan Domain LLC (“Mortgage Express’’).  The Settlement Agreement was based on an investigation by the Consumer Credit Division.  As a result of such investigation, the Commissioner alleged in a Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Mortgage Broker License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing issued against Mortgage Express on December 14, 2010, that Mortgage Express failed to fie a new form of surety bond in an appropriate amount effective July 31, 2010, and failed to maintain a surety bond that ran concurrent with the period of its license, in violation of Section 36a-492 of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes.  As part of the Settlement Agreement, Mortgage Express agreed to have its license marked “Terminated” on the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with NE Moves Mortgage, LLC (“NE Moves Mortgage”).  The Settlement Agreement was based on an examination by the Consumer Credit Division.  As a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleged that NE Moves Mortgage employed or retained, during the period of January 4, 2008 through March 5, 2010, eleven (11) individuals as originators or mortgage loan originators without registering or licensing them, in violation of Sections 36a 486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes.  As part of the Settlement Agreement, NE Moves Mortgage agreed to pay $11,000 as a civil penalty.
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with Northern States Mortgage, LLC (“Northern States Mortgage”).  The Settlement Agreement was based on an examination by the Consumer Credit Division.  As a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleged that Northern States Mortgage employed or retained, during the period of January 12 through October 5, 2009, four (4) individuals as mortgage loan originators without licensing them, in violation of Section 36a 486(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes.  As part of the Settlement Agreement, Northern States Mortgage agreed to pay $4,000 as a civil penalty.
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner entered into a Settlement Agreement with Westport Mortgage LLC (“Westport Mortgage”).  The Settlement Agreement was based on an examination by the Consumer Credit Division.  As a result of such examination, the Commissioner alleged that Westport Mortgage employed or retained, during the period of May 7, 2004 through November 12, 2008, three (3) individuals as originators or mortgage loan originators without registering or licensing them, in violation of Sections 36a 486(b) and 36a-511(b) of the then applicable Connecticut General Statutes.  As part of the Settlement Agreement, Westport Mortgage agreed to pay $3,000 as a civil penalty.
 
Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist,
Notice of Intent to Revoke Consumer Collection Agency License and
Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Automatic Suspension, Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Revoke Consumer Collection Agency License, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of:  Aidex Recovery Group, Inc. (“Respondent”).  The Notice alleged that Respondent failed to maintain a surety bond that runs concurrent with its license for 5210 Belfort Road, Suite 230, Jacksonville, Florida, in violation of Section 36a-802(a) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes.  The Commissioner also found that public welfare required the issuance of Temporary Order to Cease and Desist.  Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice.
 
Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Issue
Order to Cease and Desist and Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner issued a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of:  Equity Advantage Group, Inc. (“Respondent”).  The Notice alleged that Respondent engaged in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of 36a-671(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes.  The alleged violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  The Commissioner also found that the public welfare required the issuance of a Temporary Order to Cease and Desist and ordered the repayment of fees to a Connecticut resident pursuant to Section 36a-671a(c) of the 2010 Supplement to the Connecticut General Statutes.  Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice.
 
Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist
and Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of:  GMA Modification Corp. (“Respondent”).  The Notice alleged that Respondent engaged and offered to engage in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes.  This alleged violation forms the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice.
 
On January 11, 2011, the Commissioner issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Order to Cease and Desist, Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Penalty and Notice of Right to Hearing (“Notice”) in the Matter of:  Mortgage Relief Group, LLC d/b/a Mortgage Assistance Group (“Respondent”).  The Notice alleged that Respondent offered to engage and engaged in debt negotiation in this state without obtaining the required license, in violation of Section 36a-671(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes, and charged fees under terms which did not comply with Section 36a-671b(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes.  These alleged violations form the basis to issue an order to cease and desist pursuant to Section 36a-671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-52(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, and to impose a civil penalty upon Respondent pursuant to Section 36a 671a(b) of the 2010 Supplement to the General Statutes and Section 36a-50(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes.  Respondent was afforded an opportunity to request a hearing with regard to the allegations set forth in the Notice.

SECURITIES AND BUSINESS INVESTMENTS DIVISION ACTIVITY
Consent Order

On January 31, 2011, the Banking Commissioner entered a Consent Order with respect to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., a Connecticut-registered broker-dealer, and Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Both entities are located at 211 Main Street, San Francisco, California.  The Consent Order alleged that, in connection with the marketing and sale of The Schwab YieldPlus Fund, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. failed to exercise adequate supervisory controls by permitting its representatives to inaccurately characterize the Fund’s risks and make representations inconsistent with the Fund’s prospectus.  The Consent Order also alleged that Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc., manager of the Fund, changed the Fund’s concentration policy for non-agency mortgage-backed securities without a shareholder vote.
The Consent Order directed the respondents to cease and desist from regulatory violations and to pay $300,000 to the department.  The Consent Order also required that the respondents provide up to $2.5 million in compensation to those Connecticut investors who invested in the fund between May 31, 2006 and March 17, 2008, with the first payment being made by June 30, 2011.  Investors who sold their fund shares after March 17, 2008 would be deemed to have sold as of March 17, 2008.  In addition, the Consent Order provided for an Expedited Arbitration procedure, to be held in Connecticut, for those Connecticut investors who 1) bought Fund shares prior to November 15, 2006; 2) maintained their holdings at any time from May 31, 2006 through the present; 3) elected to initiate an arbitration claim after January 31, 2011 and had not previously pursued arbitration or litigation against the respondents with respect to the Fund, or settled with any of the respondents; and 4) were not members of the state or federal classes in the YieldPlus securities class action litigation (No. 08-cv-01510 WHA) with respect to the shares at issue in the Expedited Arbitration.
 
 
       Dated:  Tuesday, February 8, 2011

 
       Howard F. Pitkin
       Banking Commissioner